It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chapter 11, Page 30, Book 08



1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

We often miss Advent's power because these December weeks are full of Christmas parties and preparations for Christmas. Each year, the busyness of this season serves to distract us from having an Advent season that truly prepares us for the celebration of Christmas

FAMILY TRADITION

Adopt the old European custom of Advent candles and/or an Advent calendar, fun and traditional ways to count-down to the big day

As we begin Advent, we light one candle in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world. It symbolizes our longing, our desire, our hope.

Lord God,only you can see into my heart
and know that under all the busy-ness of my life,
there is a deep longing
to make this Advent
one that welcomes you
more deeply into my own life.
My heart desires the warmth of your love
and my mind searches for your
Light in the midst of the darkness.
Help me to be a peacemaker this Advent
and to give special love to those
who disagree with me.
Give me the strength and courage
to forgive those who have hurt me.
Help me to free my heart
from the prison of my anger and hurt.

We need to be aware that our guide and our map for this journey is our Lord. Despite any detours or delays, we need to open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we approach the holy celebration of the Incarnation of Our Lord


GOOD MORNING !
I’ll be finding my Advent Wreath today and putting it out on the dining room table where I’ll light my candles and pray each day now til Christmas. I love every moment of preparing for and celebrating Christmas. All the good smells and beautiful decorations make it a very festive event.
Of course Christmas also means more time to spend with my family and to be with them is a blessing always.
I’ll begin to undecorated the house and put away the fall things and bring out some Christmas ornaments. Lots of people that I know have already done so. Some complain that Thanksgiving is barely over and we are into the Christmas Season. I can’t thing of a better thing to celebrate.
Advent will start of the festivities and they will go on til the Feast of the Three Kings in January.


Hope Lives Christmas Story

For a moment or perhaps a long while,

we are dropped into the depths of despair,

a tragedy of intense proportions.

In the darkness we struggle with difficult

and often confusing feelings.

As Christians we often feel

guilty about these feelings.

All are true human emotions,

and necessary in enabling us to cope.
God understands our pain and our suffering.

He will wrap his loving arms around us,

He will be there when no one else can.


After a time we begin to feel his presence.

You can see a faint light in the distance.
This is the light of HOPE.


Moving toward the light -

The Holy Spirit takes us by the hand

and helps us to move even closer to the light.

The light of the Lord that shines into each of our lives.Here in The Lords loving presence our souls and our wounds begin to heal.God has a plan for us and we can rest assured that we have been called here for a purpose. Our job is not yet finished. We must continue to move forward.
We might not understand the sequence of events in our lives. We might not understand the meaning of our suffering. But we have not lost everything , we are not alone.
We will always have HOPE.
As the Holiday season approaches, let us remember that Hope was born at Christmas,His name is Jesus.
And Hope does live on.


THOUGHT FOR TODAY

5 WAYS TO A MORE JOYFUL CHRISTMAS


1. STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN: If you discover yourself becoming dulled to the joys of the season, STOP! Slow the pace down and become still, taking time to LOOK and LISTEN. Take a winter walk, curl up in a favorite chair or before the fireplace.Helen Keller once observed, "The seeing see little."
So feel the comfort of the glow of a candle, or the red of the poinsettias. Listen with new ears to laughter and bells, and to the expression of love of found in the story of the first Christmas.

2. BE WILLING TO BE SURPRISED:
Remember that God can come in the least likely ways - a Holy Child born in a village stable, a brightly shining star, an angel song in the night sky.
Watch for Him to come in equally surprising ways to you, too. When we live as if God is going to "surprise" us at any moment, in any way, in any place, then He usually does!

3. FIND WAYS TO ANTICIPATE CHRISTMAS:
How about keeping an advent calendar?
Commit yourself to perform at least one special act of kindness for each day of advent.
Write a note, letter, card or e-mail to someone to express your gratitude, to tell someone you love them, to forgive an old hurt, or just to count your blessings.

4. FREE YOUR CHILDLIKE SPIRIT:
Jesus held up childlikeness as a quality to be cultivated. (Mark 10:15)
Children are experts at dreaming up simple things as delights that adults don't, or have forgotten how to do.
Can't you picture a little boy singing "Jingle Bells" to a plastic Jesus in a store?
Christmas often comes in precious moments like this, when we spontaneously show our adoration for the Baby in the manger.

5. SHARE THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS WITH SOMEONE ELSE:
Nothing multiplies the sense of wonder in your life like giving it away.

The more you share (not just things, but yourself) the brighter Christmas grows.I hope that these simple steps will help you, or someone you can share these with, keep the wonder and excitement of Christmas alive during this busy season.
Just remember that"Jesus is the reason for the season."


When it comes to counting blessings,

There are surely very few

As precious and as meaningful

as someone dear as you,


And that's the special reason

For this loving Christmas prayer...


God bless you

for your thoughtfulness

And keep you in His care


‘On Ya’-ma





13 comments:

Hollie said...

What a beautiful entry!!! I love the 5 ways to a more joyous Christmas. Advent sounds like such a special celebration!

Joan said...

I loved your entry today Pam it made me feel so positive something I was needing to be just now.Thank you. Love Joan.

Linda said...

I am going to google advent now. I don't know much about it but it sounds like something I want to do. I also love the 5 ways to a more joyus Christmas! Linda

Unknown said...

I love advent. Christmas decorations etc don't usually go up here till really close to Christmas and are all taken down on the 12th day.
Still much in my prayers

Jeannette said...

Beautiful posting my friend. Have never done the advent candle thing but I do burn candles when I pray. Christmas can be so happy for some and so miserable for others. But we know that God is at the heart of it.

betty said...

I'm echoing what Hollie said; what a beautiful entry!! when I was growing up we always had an Advent wreath; it was with delight when I went to church yesterday and saw an Advent wreath there; I got to share the tradition behind it with my hubby. I loved every single thing in this entry Ma; you are such a wise, wonderful servant of our Lord; may his light always continue to shine through you and your family; this world needs to hear more of Jesus; thank you for sharing him so freely and abundantly :)

betty

Kathy said...

What a lovely tradition. I will have to look into that further. I also liked the 5 way to a more joyous Christmas. You are a wealth of information. Thank you

Jan said...

What a wonderful entry today Pam as we go into Advent ,blessings to you and yours ....love Jan xx

redpoppy007@aol.com said...

I loved this entry.. You have a way with words. I am getting off of here to light my candle.
God bless you.

Jenny said...

Our advent candle was lit at church this morning and the sermon follows the advent theme. In the UK we only decorate our homes for christmas. Some people start the beginning of December, others wait till about a week before christmas. Enjoy the sabbeth.
Jenny <><

Sandra said...

I have to try harder to give extra love to those who disagree with me..... really hard until it is easy... thanks for writing that
Sandra

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful tribute to "Advent time"..not a tradition in many home I am afraid...but a wonderful way to "count down" the days before His Birth...God Bless and hugs from Ora in KY

Sugar said...

a beautiful entry.
may God bless...